1. Energy efficiency may be driving our economic prosperity
Energy economist, Skip Laitner, recently published a report showing increased demand for energy since the 1970s, while consumption only grew 40 percent and the energy intensity of the economy has fallen by half. This positive trend in the data shows efficiency to be responsible for approximately two-thirds of our economic productivity since then.
2. New, efficient buildings are replacing the need for new power plants
Edward Mazria of Architecture 2030, found energy needs were falling when looking at projections for new buildings set for construction by 2030. As buildings become more and more efficient, the need for new power plants decreases.
3. Energy efficiency could be a factor in the 75 percent reduction of CO2 emissions in 2012.
Shakeb Afsah and Kendyl Salcito of CO2 Scorecard determined three quarters of 2012 carbon emission reductions were a result of a mild winter and energy efficiency measures in the transportation, residential, and commercial sectors of the U.S. economy.
4. Half of efficiency opportunities in commercial buildings are low- or no-touch.
With data from 60 million square feet of commercial buildings, FirstFuel, a virtual auditing company, found over half of the buildings’ potential savings could be made simply through more efficient behavioral changes or tweaks to equipment without requiring much upfront capital.
5. We’re becoming less dependent on driving
An analysis from Doug Short of Advisor Perspectives showed miles driven in the U.S. have fallen by 8.75 percent since the summer of 2005 and is showing no signs of slowing.
6. We’re getting smarter about our lighting
Sylvania produced a survey that showed incandescent bulbs are making their way out of U.S. homes. Approximately 29 percent of homes no longer use incandescents, while LEDs are gaining momentum—now in 35 percent of U.S. homes.
7. Customer participation in demand response is reaching new highs
EnerNOC and Comverge, demand response providers, saw record numbers of customers participating in the demand-response market this summer. Nest Labs reported 89 percent of customers using smart thermostats in Texas, dropping their demand for air conditioning by 56 percent.
Source: An Illustrated Guide to the Enormous Power of Energy Efficiency, GreenTech Media